The kick – Arkell v Pressdram
This is a story that involved a fair amount of my time.
If you’re the sort of person who has a dog to bathe, go do that. I’m so not interested in whether you who may read this has a dog or not.
Points first summary:
- I interfaced with an organisation seeking to recruit me to their business.
- I was explicit that I needed to see and read their ‘Terms and Conditions’ before submitting any completed forms.
- 49 days later and after several phone-calls and emails, I have not received or read their ‘Terms and Conditions’.
- I give them the kick.
- I extract what I think is my understanding of human nature, in this.
And if you’re the sort of person who believes that only people with OCD or Asperger’s read fine print, you are served with the Private Eye response of 29th April 1971 in Arkell v. Pressdram response.
The following is my final email to them, giving the kick.
You (including any person at Lxxxxxxiob) needs to read this email very carefully. There are no implied meanings in this correspondence.
You have sent me
Within 5 minutes I can see the following:
The three documents refer to Terms and Conditions. After all my emails and being brutally explicit, I am yet to see the ‘Terms and Conditions’ which would relate to any contractual obligations that I might opt to enter into. I am not entering into a debate on what ‘Terms and Conditions’ mean to Lxxxxxxiob. It is totally irrelevant if I am the first or only person encountered who has taken this approach, because I have already been explicit as to my approach to legally binding contracts.
On 23rd Sept 2020 I said, >>Send me the following:1. The standard contractual terms in written form (in PDF or MS word format) with all fineprint that may exist – which is applicable to my signing up with Lxxxxxxiob. (Consult a lawyer, if you don’t quite understand what that means).<<
You and your [business] explicitly stated to me in a telephone conversation on 22nd Sept that there was a commitment to transparency. At 17:01 23rd Sept responding to my email, you said
That email contained a list of documents which I had also sought. However it did not contain the contractual ‘Terms and Conditions’ requested on earlier 23rd Sept.
The hard evidence in this thread, is that I have not been provided with the ‘standard Terms and Conditions’, at any time from 22nd September 2020 having been very clear about it. It would appear that I am having to pull teeth. That is the situation that would be observable to any reasonable person, who need not be legally qualified.
I reasonably conclude based on the evidence available to us both, that overall there is a lack of transparency and a lack of attention to relevant detail (i.e. handing over the Terms and Conditions – which remains elusive at this time). My conclusions are based on hard evidence. My conclusions are not open to debate.
I’ve been here with other [businesses] before now. I gave you as an individual a good chance, because you seemed to be a hard working chap. But this is business – nothing about you personally. I have nothing against you. Ultimately I’m dealing with a business entity. At this point from my experience, ‘[businesses]’ usually conclude that I’m a difficult so and so, who may cause trouble later on – though they don’t say that. Then they withdraw from business with me. I don’t know what your [business] will do, but the latter is my probability estimate.
Therefore, in advance of any chance of Lxxxxxxiob informing me that they do not wish to contact me further, I declare that I now terminate all conversations electronic or otherwise with your [business] or its representatives. This means – and you really need to read this and the following, to avoid causing yourselves trouble with the Information Commissioner:
1 – DO NOT respond to this email by any means, with acknowledgement.
I have given you and your [business] too much time. Had I been provided with the full Terms and Conditions promptly, this sequence would not have unfolded.
As I have requested that you DO NOT respond to this email, I will assume that you and your [business] have carried out my legally appropriate requests.
Should I receive at any point in the future any (including a single) communication that I construe as arising from Lxxxxxxiob or you representing Lxxxxxxiob, I will report the matter to the police on grounds of harassment and to the Information Commissioner for further action. This is not an allegation at this time that you have harassed me or will do so. My statement is only to ensure that I have been explicit about consequences.
Please read the above again, carefully.
Perceptions and inferences
- People do not read emails properly. If they do, then they do not take time to think and process.
- People have ideas in their own heads, which become their reality. As a result, they lose sight of what may be the reality in another person’s head or external to all heads.
- People are lazy. In the above situation i.e. thinking that passing this to a compliance officer will be a great idea, instead of thinking ‘what’s this guy asking for?’.
- People are inattentive i.e. it’s the norm in emails or even conversations to ask for X number of issues to be addressed, and people will return with X – n (meaning short on the list) without reason.
- People in businesses are occupied with making profits (or limiting loss) instead of working to deliver widely accepted standards.
- Because other ‘people’ (like clients/customers) are not demanding of delivery of standards and transparency, businesses are ‘groomed’ into a pattern of thinking/behaviour, that the next person fits the model in their heads. As I’ve said so many times before, ‘patterns are pre-determinative’.
The above is about people in organisations and some private individuals I have observed. I do not imply that ‘people’ means ‘everybody’. I have not done a statistical survey on the above. I have drawn conclusions based on my contact with ‘people’. My sample of people will obviously be different to other people. Any apparent bias is the result of probable ‘selection biases’ arising from a particular group of people I need to interface with. I have no control over that.
The individual above appeared to be highly motivated but he isn’t aware to what extent his organisation’s culture affects his performance. I’m not here to diagnose organisations or people, point out their flaws and help them. That’s not my role and there is no gain for me from doing that.
I give people a fair chance. I am explicit about how I am and what I am about. I’ll give people – as I often say – four ends of the rope. But there comes a point where I have to say ‘enough.. no point continuing with this‘. I can and do expect people representing businesses to operate to certain well defined standards. I also give them four ends of the rope.
At times I appear to waste time with these people. It’s not totally a waste of time because I only do this occasionally. I keep evidence of these things, so that I know what I’m talking about when some time after I have a sound reference for what I say about the patterns of operation of people and businesses.
Disclaimer & Guidance